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ERIC Number: EJ859963
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 117
ISSN: ISSN-0096-3445
Immediacy Bias in Emotion Perception: Current Emotions Seem More Intense than Previous Emotions
Van Boven, Leaf; White, Katherine; Huber, Michaela
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, v138 n3 p368-382 Aug 2009
People tend to perceive immediate emotions as more intense than previous emotions. This "immediacy bias" in emotion perception occurred for exposure to emotional but not neutral stimuli (Study 1), when emotional stimuli were separated by both shorter (2 s; Studies 1 and 2) and longer (20 min; Studies 3, 4, and 5) delays, and for emotional reactions to pictures (Studies 1 and 2), films (Studies 3 and 4), and descriptions of terrorist threats (Study 5). The immediacy bias may be partly caused by immediate emotion's salience, and by the greater availability of information about immediate compared with previous emotion. Consistent with emotional salience, when people experienced new emotions, they perceived previous emotions as less intense than they did initially (Studies 3 and 5)--a change in perception that did not occur when people did not experience a new immediate emotion (Study 2). Consistent with emotional availability, reminding people that information about emotions naturally decays from memory reduced the immediacy bias by making previous emotions seem more intense (Study 4). Discussed are implications for psychological theory and other judgments and behaviors. (Contains 6 figures and 4 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A